Michelle Obama: "Don't Let Frustration Keep You From Voting"

Photo Courtesy - The White House(WASHINGTON) -- Hoping to awaken the youth vote that led in part to her husband’s presidential win, first lady Michelle Obama tried to appeal Wednesday to those so-called apathetic young voters by telling them their midterm vote is as important as the those cast in the 2008 presidential election.

“Don’t let frustration keep you from voting,” Mrs. Obama said. "Because as we said it takes every single one of us. This election isn’t about Barack or one single party. It’s about all of us making a difference and voting, not just in a presidential election is an important part of that.”

On a conference call Wednesday afternoon with “Organizing for America” members, Democratic National Committee members and volunteers across the country, Mrs. Obama said that as Democrats hit the pavement in the final 27 days before the midterm elections they need to tell people to not sit this one out.

“Remind people that change is difficult and we’re just beginning to see the results of our work. So don’t stay home,” she said, adding that the “worst thing possible” would be if people did not come out to vote.

Hoping to capture the spirit of then-Senator Barack Obama’s surprising Iowa caucus win, Mrs. Obama said this election is also about ignoring what the polls are saying.

“I met some of you out there in Iowa where we proved that polls don’t matter and that the real community organizing can inspire young people and old to get involved, we saw that ourselves,” she said,  “Let’s not forget our young voters, let’s not forget their focus and engagement, let us not forget that they are ready to make a difference this November just as they did in 2008.”

Mrs. Obama said Wednesday she is here to tell everyone the president needs them once again.

“The president needs allies like all of you who will stand up with him in Washington as he stands up for the nation,” the first lady said, adding they need everyone now to work harder than ever. She said, “We all are going to need to dig deep, and we all can do whatever it takes to support democrats who will work to keep our country moving forward.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Donald Trump Considering Presidential Bid

Photo Courtesy - Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Real estate tycoon-turned-reality TV host Donald Trump is thinking of a new career -- as president of the United States. Trump said via phone on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program Tuesday that he is looking at a possible 2012 bid because "this country will not be great if something isn't done rapidly."

"For the first time in life, I am absolutely thinking about it," Trump announced. Except, this is not the first time. Trump has been flirting with the idea for nearly two decades. He first suggested running on the Republican ticket in 1988 and, in 2007, he floated the idea of having Oprah Winfrey as his running mate. On Tuesday, he said he will run as a Republican.

If history is any guide, Trump’s chances of winning, or even coming close, are very slim. Ross Perot, another billionaire businessman who founded the Reform Party, unsuccessfully ran for president twice.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


President Obama, Democrats, Struggling With Women Voters

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Women voters are 10 points more likely than men to be Democrats, but the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll of generic congressional candidates had women voters only narrowly breaking for the Democrats, 47 percent to 44 percent.  As a result, the president is reaching out to women.

“I’m thrilled to be here tonight with some of the most brilliant, most accomplished, most influential women in this country,” the president said while speaking to female business leader Tuesday night.  “As Michelle Obama's husband, I feel very much at home.”
During his speech, the presidential seal fell off.  The president joked, “All of you know who I am.”

But the White House worries some female voters may have forgotten, and the president needs those women in order to hold the House and Senate.  It’s one of the reasons why the president is talking so much about education as midterm elections approach.

Next week, the first lady will start a six-state fundraising swing, including "an evening on Broadway" with two female icons, Sarah Jessica Parker and Patti Labelle.  Dr. Jill Biden and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett will be talking about education and pay equity and chatting on ABC's The View.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Republican Governor Predicts Obama Win in 2012 

Photo Courtesy - State of California(HAMBURG, Germany) -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says that President Obama will win reelection in 2012.

Schwarzenegger told German magazine Der Spiegel that the president’s chances of winning a second term will be enhanced if the GOP regains control of the House after the November elections.

Rubbing salt deeper into Republican wounds, the former Hollywood action star also doesn’t believe the GOP has a viable candidate at this time who can defeat Obama.

In the past, Schwarzenegger has made no secret of his desire to run for the White House.  Since he was born in a foreign country -- in his case, Austria -- the Constitution prohibits him from seeking the presidency.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Former Meg Whitman Housekeeper: 'I'm Not Anyone's Puppet' 

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Nicky Diaz, the former housekeeper of California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Tuesday denied claims that she is being manipulated by the campaign of Whitman’s Democratic opponent, Jerry Brown.

“I make my own decisions.  I’m not anyone’s puppet,” she said of her public allegations of mistreatment by her former employer.  “Meg Whitman was wrong when she said someone put a gun to my head.  Nobody did.  I wanted to speak out because I wanted people to know who Meg Whitman is.”

Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who has ties to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, also appeared with Diaz and refuted Whitman’s recent claims that Nicky is being used as a political tool.

“The truth is Nicky never asked or expected to be part of Whitman’s family.  But she expected to be treated family,” Allred said. “She certainly did not expect to be kicked to the curb and thrown out like garbage.”

Whitman fired Diaz, an undocumented immigrant who had worked as a cleaner and caretaker of the her children for nine years, after learning she had been living in the country illegally.

Whitman campaign spokeswoman Andrea Jones Rivera responded to Allred and Diaz's press conference by calling it a "circus" that is drawing focus from the "serious challenges" facing California voters.

"After nearly a week of press conferences, Gloria Allred still refuses to disclose who is paying her fee and who has helped her orchestrate this stunt," Jones Rivera said in a statement.

A Hill Research poll conducted this week shows that 68% of Californians view Gloria Allred unfavorably, and that despite the Brown campaign’s best efforts to capitalize on the controversy, the race remains neck-and-neck.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obama Takes the Search for the Youth Vote to MTV 

Photo Courtesy -- ABC News Radio(WASHINGTON) -- Hoping to appeal to the MTV generation, those young voters who he’s fighting hard to bring out to the voting booths in November, President Obama will host a youth town hall special on MTV next week.

Dubbed “A Conversation with President Obama” the town hall on Oct. 14 will bring the president before 250 young people that MTV says is a “broad cross-section of backgrounds, interests and political viewpoints,” who will ask questions of the president and over Twitter.

The show will be hosted by MTV personality Sway Calloway, BET’s April Woodard, and CMT’s Katie Cook.

Facing a perceived enthusiasm gap, especially among young voters, the president has recently increased his appearances at events tailored to get out the vote and reawaken the movement that led in part to his 2008 presidential win.

On Sunday, the president will appear at another “Moving America Forward” rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with musical guests The Roots and next Tuesday he will participate in a “Commit to Vote” tele-town hall with the DNC to drum up young voters.

Next week’s events also come on the heels of President Obama’s rally in Madison, Wisconsin last week which drew 17,000 young voters.

There, the president argued that young voters need to come out in the polls to show they are not apathetic.

“if everybody who fought for change in 2008 shows up to vote in 2010, we will win.  We will win," he said. "The polls say the same thing. We will win."

And, what about the “youth vote” that Democrats were trying to re-inspire?  ABC News reports not so much.  Just 53% of 18-29 year old voters say they are certain to vote compared to 80 percent of those 65 years and older and 81 percent among those 50-64 years old.

Why does this matter to Democrats?   Walter reports, “Among younger voters, Obama’s approval rating is 58 percent; among the oldest group of voters it’s just 46 percent.  More important, when asked who they’d support in 2010, younger voters give Democrats an advantage (albeit a narrow one) of 51-47 percent.  Those 65 and older give Republicans a 51-44 percent advantage.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Study: Latino Voters Staunchly Pro-Democrat but Highly Apathetic

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Latino voters, the nation's fastest growing ethnic group with strong Democratic allegiances, appear significantly less motivated than other voters to participate in the upcoming elections, a new Pew Hispanic Center survey shows.

One-third of Latino registered voters have given the election "quite a lot of thought," compared with half of all U.S. registered voters, according to the study, which was released Tuesday. On intent to vote, half of Latinos said they will cast ballots in November while 70 percent of all U.S. registered voters said the same.

Political apathy among Latinos has emerged as a key concern for Democrats weeks before the midterm elections because two-thirds of registered voters favor Democratic congressional candidates over Republicans.

The Latino vote could play an influential role in California, Texas, Florida and New York; states where the majority of the country's registered Latino voters reside.

Pew estimates that 19.3 million Latinos are eligible to vote, making up about 7.4 percent of all voters in 2008. While turnout among those voters has traditionally been lower than the national average, experts say, the overall number of eligible Latino voters is rapidly growing.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Poll: Tea Party Closely Linked to Religious Right

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly half of those who identify with the Tea Party movement are part of the religious right, according to a Public Religion Research Institute poll released Tuesday.

Eight of ten Americans who identified with the Tea Party were Christians and 47 percent said they were part of the Christian conservative movement, the poll found.

But the grassroots movement remains a small part of the population overall. Christian conservatives make up 22 percent of the population but those who favor the Tea Party only comprise about half of that. An overwhelming majority of Americans, 94 percent, who support the Tea Party movement were white men and more than half were 50 or older, according to the survey.

Tea Party supporters have rallied for of smaller government, lower taxes, free enterprise and individual freedom.

The poll found overwhelming support for Sarah Palin, a key figure in the movement. Eighty-percent had a favorable view of the former Alaska governor, while 75 percent held an unfavorable view of President Obama.

The Tea Party movement proved itself to be a formidable force in the primaries. Several candidates backed by national Tea Party groups successfully defeated candidates favored by the Republican establishment. But recent polls show that interest may be waning.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


2010 Forecast: Enthusiasm Gap Still Favors GOP

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Despite attempts by President Obama to rouse his base, the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Republicans are still more “fired up” than Democrats.

When asked if they were “certain” to vote this year, 77 percent of Republicans said yes, compared to just 61 percent of Democrats. This 16-point advantage for the GOP is unchanged from last month.

Independent voters showed a jump in enthusiasm from September. Today, 74 percent say they are “certain” to vote -- up from 69 percent last month. That’s not good news for Democrats, however, as independents are leaning decidedly toward the GOP this fall. Among independents who are most likely to vote, 53 percent say they’re voting for the Republican candidate, compared to just 33 percent who say they’ll vote for the Democrat.

And, what about the “youth vote” that Democrats were trying to re-inspire? Just 53 percent of 18-29 year old voters say they are certain to vote compared to 80 percent of those 65 years and older and 81 percent among those 50-64 years old.

Why does this matter to Democrats? Among younger voters, Obama’s approval rating is 58 percent; among the oldest group of voters it’s just 46 percent. When asked who they’d support in 2010, younger voters give Democrats an advantage of 51-47 percent. Those 65 and older give Republicans a 51-44 percent advantage.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Ginni Thomas on Tea Party: 'Big Tidal Wave Coming'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Forget the polls that show a decrease in support for the Tea Party candidates -- the only poll that matters is the one on Nov. 2, said Ginni Thomas, CEO of the conservative group Liberty Central.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows only 32 percent of Americans believe  the Tea Party will change Washington, while 63 percent said it will not.

“I don’t know about that, I think it’s pretty popular out there from what I see,” said Thomas, also the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

“I don’t think it’s a partisan thing going on, I think it’s a principal thing. I think it’s an American thing. I think people are rebelling and there is a big tidal wave coming,” she said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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